Tsarabanjina is a tiny island of the Mitsio archipelago, located some 40 miles north of Nosy Be, off the northwestern coast of Madagascar. The island is private, and managed by the Constance Tsarabanjina, an intimate luxury resort. Surrounded by powder-soft beaches and translucent azure waters, Tsarabanjina is a perfect spot to snorkel untouched reefs, where it is usual to observe sea turtles, Madagascar clownfish and emperor angelfish in a few feet of water.

Snorkeling with Madagascar clownfish in Tsarabanjina

How to get there?

Tsarabanjina is only accessible by boat. From Nosy Be, you will reach the island in about 1 and a half hours by speedboat. There are only two options for snorkeling the island. The first is to book a stay at the Constance Tsarabanjina, the luxury hotel set on the island. The second is to take part to a day tour or a cruise, including a snorkeling stop or an overnight stay on Tsarabanjina.

Water entrance

Enter the water from on of the sandy beaches surrounding the island, depending on which area you want to snorkel.

Tsarabanjina snorkeling map, Madagascar

Exploration

Snorkeling is good all around the island, surrounded by sand, rocks and coral, but we particularly recommend you the two coral reefs areas (↕3-12ft/1-4m), known for the richness of their marine life (see map above).

Moray eel in Tsarabanjina

On the reef you will find beautiful hard coral, including branching coral, inhabited by shoals of hundreds of green chromis. Try to find a sea anemone between the rocks: most of them are inhabited by Madagascar clownfish, endemic from southwestern Indian ocean. Parrotfish, butterflyfish, Moorish idols, moray eels and oriental sweetlips are amongst the many fish that can be seen during your snorkeling time.

Green chromis at Tsarabanjina

Two species of sea turtles (hawksbill and green sea turtles) are frequently observed around Tsarabanjina, grazing peacefully on the seabed.

Restaurants and accommodation

The only accommodation set on the island is the Constance Tsarabanjina hotel. The residents of all have full board.



 

  • Level required Beginner
  • Maximum depth15ft/5m
  • Water entranceEasy, from a sandy beach
  • Potential DangersJellyfish
  • LifeguardNo
  • Visitor numbersLow
  • Access costsFree for resort's guests
  • Restaurants nearbyYes
  • Public toilets & showersYes

MAP Spot

Sea turtle watching in Tsarabanjina

snorkeling-hawksbill

Sea turtles (especially hawksbill sea turtles) are a familiar sight in Tsarabanjina. In order to be a responsible snorkeler, be sure to respect the following rules when observing them:

  1. Do not attempt to touch or ride sea turtles
  2. Stay at a distance (6 to 10ft) from sea turtles
  3. Do not chase a turtle swimming away
  4. Avoid sudden movement and allow sea turtles plenty of space when they come up to the surface to breathe

These snorkeling spots are accessible to beginners and kids. You will enter the water gradually from a beach, or in a less than 3ft. deep area. The sea is generally calm, shallow, with almost no waves or currents. These spots are usually located in marked and/or monitored swimming areas. It is not necessary to swim long distances to discover the sea life.

This level only apply when the spot experiences optimal sea and/or weather conditions. It is not applicable if the sea and/or weather conditions deteriorate, in particular in the presence of rough sea, rain, strong wind, unusual current, large tides, waves and/or swell. You can find more details about the definition of our snorkeling levels on our snorkeling safety page.